LINGUIST List 9.316

Tue Mar 3 1998

Books: Syntax & Phonology

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  1. Andrew Simpson, PhD dissertations

Message 1: PhD dissertations

Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 16:07:39 GMT
From: Andrew Simpson <as4soas.ac.uk>
Subject: PhD dissertations

SOAS Dissertations in Linguistics

The following dissertations are now available from SOAS (the School of
Oriental and African Studies, University of London). Abstracts are
included further below.

SYNTAX

Levels of representation and argument structure in Turkish.
Asli Goksel, 1993

Focus and Copular Constructions in Hausa
Melanie Green, 1997

Movement and Optionality in Syntax
Anna Pettiward, 1997

Wh-Movement, Licensing and the Locality of Feature-Checking
Andrew Simpson, 1995

A Study of Chinese Reflexives
Xian Fu Yu, 1996

PHONOLOGY

Conditions on Nuclear Expressions in Phonology
Margaret Cobb, 1997

The Role of the element I in Khalkha Mongolian Phonology
Margaret Ann Denwood

The Phonological Basis of Speech Recognition
Geoffrey Williams, 1998

On Pitch Accent Phenomena in Standard Japanese
Yuko Yoshida, 1995

Price including world surface postage: US$10.00 per volume, or UKstlg6.00
Price including world air postage: US$15.00 per volume

Please make cheques or money orders payable to: SOAS
Orders should be sent to:
SOAS Dissertations in Linguistics,
Dept. of Linguistics,
SOAS, University of London,
Russell Sq,
London WC1H OXG
England

SYNTAX

Levels of representation and argument structure in Turkish.
Asli Goksel, 1993

This is a study of the argument structure of complex predicates in
Turkish. The thesis argues for a mono-stratal grammar where
configurational hierarchy and linear precedence are characterised
separately. The first chapter introduces the issues relating to the
representation of complex predicates and argues against a particular
multi-stratal approach, verb- incorporation. The second chapter lays
the foundations of characterising syntax and logic separately. The
third chapter introduces Labelled Deductive Systems, the framework
used in the remainder of the thesis. Part II is an analysis of
morphological causatives, passives and reflexives in Turkish. It is
proposed that the causative affix in Turkish has declarative content
and behaves like a predicate. A unitary account is provided for
passivisation and reflexivization whereby both processes are
characterised in terms of logical dependency. The sixth chapter is on
the combination of causatives, passives and reflexives. The final
chapter discusses the status of the projection principle, theta
theory, case theory, the mirror principle) in a mono-stratal grammar.
 One of the main issues that is discussed is case-marking. It is
proposed that case gives instructions for structure building in
the combinatorial process. The proposed properties of case are
tested in causative constructions and verified in passives,
reflexives and their various combinations.


Focus and Copular Constructions in Hausa
Melanie Green, 1997

This thesis examines the syntax of Focus constructions in Hausa within
a Principles and Parameters/Minimalist framework (Chomsky 1995). A
unified analysis is presented to account for the properties of 
Focus-fronting constructions in Hausa, and also the properties of
(apparently unrelated) copular constructions which are also shown to
have Focus properties. It is argued that the `copula' found in both
Focus-fronting and copular constructions in Hausa is not a verbal or
inflectional element as argued by McConvell (1973) and Tuller (1986a)
respectively, but instead the spellout of a functional category
F(ocus) in the sense of Brody (1990). The thesis presents an
introduction to the main syntactic characteristics of Hausa, as well
as a general introduction to the phenomenon of Focus, including
typological and comparative discussion to show the various
cross-linguistic syntactic manifestations of Focus. The FP analysis
is also considered from a cross-linguistic perspective to see how it
might account for Focus and copular constructions in a range of
languages related to Hausa, and it is shown that although some
languages present challenging cases for an FP analysis, there is
considerable support for an approach of this nature.


Movement and Optionality in Syntax
Anna Pettiward, 1997

Can the operation Move, construed as a copying operation (Chomsky
1993,1995), be assumed to apply in principle to any element (as was
the operation Move- alpha in the GB framework)? And if Move is
constrained by economy conditions, rather than applying or not at
will, how can one characterize phenomena appearing to involve optional
movement? These are the two questions which this thesis attempts to
answer (Parts I and II respectively). Part I proposes that all copies
in a chain - as opposed to some (cf. Chomsky 1995) - are active in the
computational system. This assumption is argued for at length on both
theoretical and empirical grounds. Part II develops a multiple optimal
derivations (cf. Chomsky 1991) theory of syntactic optionality. A
detailed analysis is provided of optionality (plus associated
non-optionality) effects from a number of languages including French
(participle agreement), English and Swedish (optional partial
associate movement with non-Case/agreement-checking expletives there
and det 'it'), and Icelandic, German and Dutch (optional overt Object
Shift).


Wh-Movement, Licensing and the Locality of Feature-Checking
Andrew Simpson, 1995

Investigating the syntax of wh-constructions across a wide variety of
languages, this thesis re-examines the assumption that
feature-checking relations may only be effected within the strict
locality of Spec-head/head-adjoined configurations. A range of
evidence from apparently optional wh-movement languages such as Hindi
and Iraqi Arabic is argued to provide a strong empirical challenge to
the strict locality hypothesis and indicate instead that
feature-checking relations may in fact be non-Spec-head-local and
effected without movement to the relevant licensing head. Integrating
such results with the patterning of wh-questions in English, Japanese
and Romanian-type languages, the basic account developed is shown to
allow for a model in which dynamic syntax terminates at Spell-Out and
also permits an analysis of Partial Movement questions which avoids
the severe problems such structures pose for standard Minimalist
approaches. Including also a final chapter on N-word licensing and
the possible parasitic relation of scrambling to feature-checking, the
thesis provides a critical overview of Minimalism, an introduction to
the wide variety of wh-construction-types present in natural language
and in depth discussion of the opacity effects created by tense for
various licensing relations.


A Study of Chinese Reflexives
Xian Fu Yu, 1996

This thesis is an in-depth investigation of the distribution and
interpretation of the reflexive pronouns ziji, ziji-benshen and
ta-ziji and reflexive-marked verbs (zi-verb) in Mandarin Chinese. It
argues that all types of reflexive pronouns can be either
locally-bound or long-distance bound under certain circumstances. 
Making reference to aspects of lexical, pragmatic and discourse
structure, as well as drawing on work in traditional Chinese syntax
and data from historical and literary sources, the thesis provides an
explanation for the local and long-distance binding effects in terms
of different internal structures hypothesized for reflexive elements. 
Local-binding is a function of being assigned an anaphoric theta role
by a verb and LF adjunction to VP, whereas long-distance logophoric
interpretations result when the internal structure of a reflexive
incorporates a pro element.


PHONOLOGY

Conditions on Nuclear Expressions in Phonology
Margaret Cobb, 1997

This thesis is a principled examination of the distribution of
`tense/lax' and `high/low' vowels in harmony systems. I exploit the
interaction of the parameter settings of three universal mechanisms in
the framework of Government Phonology. First I present the type of
language data the thesis accounts for and evaluate other approaches in
the literature to `height'/'ATR' harmony. Then I present the
theoretical tools used in my analysis: Licensing Constraints
(parameters on element distribution), Head Licensing (a condition on
the distribution of headed expressions in harmony systems), and the
Complexity Condition (a condition on phonological government). 
Licensing Constraints and Head-Licensing combine to provide a four-way
typology of `ATR'-type harmony. This is illustrated with data from
Zulu, Pulaar, Turkana and Akan. The basic mechanism is then also
suggested to be subject to the Complexity Condition. I examine the
harmony systems of languages which have this parameter switched `on',
manifesting `height'/'ATR' harmony effects: Natal Portugese, Lena
Bable, Yoruba and Ogori. Finally I explore the implications the
thesis has for the treatment of other harmony languages which have
been discussed in the literature e.g. Chukchee, Chichewa, Pasiego and
Kera.


The Role of the element I in Khalkha Mongolian Phonology
Margaret Ann Denwood

This thesis, which is written within the framework of Government
Phonology, revolves around phenomena related to the element I in
Khalkha Mongolian. The all-pervasive influence and the structural
requirements of I explain the relationship between palatal and
palatalised consonants and umlaut as well as vowel harmony.
Relationships between syllabic constituents and evidence that these do
not branch lay a fopundation for the proposal that Mongolian, like
Chinese, has a basic four position template. The number and nature of
consonants involved in sequences suggest that inter-onset government
takes place between onsets belonging to stem and suffix templates. 
The distribution and behaviour of palatal and palatalised consonants,
showing that a special relationship exists between a nucleus
dominating (I) and the preceding onset, has implications for the
representation of Mongolian consonants. Vowel harmony is analysed as
head-licensing, the revised GP analysis of ATR-harmony. Licensing
constraints generate nuclear expressions, whilst additional
constraints on a nucleus dominating a doubly-linked I element explain
umlaut and related phenomena, also supporting the head-licensing
analysis against an I-harmony analysis.


The Phonological Basis of Speech Recognition
Geoffrey Williams, 1998

This thesis explores an alternative approach to speech recognition
based on the theory of Government Phonology (GP). The main aim is to
test a fundamental claim of the theory, that phonology is central to
human speech recognition, by means of implementation and theoretical
argumentation. A further claim of the thesis is that the application
of GP to automatic speech recognition (ASR) can provide insights into
the nature of phonology. Analysis of the central problems of speech
recognition leads to the conclusion that decoding by the linear
segmental model central to previous phonologically motivated work,
cannot succeed since it constitutes neither an accurate nor
computationally feasible model of speech processing. We propose an
alternative approach based on a combination of a phonological parser
and the GP elements as recognition targets. We first explore the
mapping between elements and the speech signal and show that there is
some support for the direct mapping hypothesis between GP elements and
the signal and that they therefore can form plausible recognition
targets. We then motivate the use of a GP parser in ASR, claiming
that constituent structure as understood in GP can be recovered fairly
directly from the signal and allows for reconstruction of speech
segments which are corrupted by noise or other effects. An
implementation of both the parser and the element detectors, based on
neural networks, is described in some detail. The final chapter
proposes functional explanations for the nature of phonological
licensing, and for certain distributional anomalies in a number of
languages, as well as addressing the computability of phonological
derivations in GP in comparison to finite-state models. We show that
the limited derivational machinery of GP ensures the tractability of
phonological interpretation without sacrificing explanatory power.


On Pitch Accent Phenomena in Standard Japanese
Yuko Yoshida, 1995

This thesis aims to demonstrate the merits of a theoretical approach
to accent assignment in Standard Japanese. Furthermore, it attempts to
show that the formal treatment of pitch accent assignment is identical
to that of stress assignment in languages such as English. The
proposed analysis is based on a model of government-licensing, and
rejects the idea of an 'inter-syllabic foot' construction in favour of
the phonological notions of 'domain' and 'inter-nuclear licensing'.
Another goal of this work is to expand the definition of a licensing
domain -- from its minimal form, a binary licensing domain within an
Onset or Nucleus (Rhyme) constituent, as proposed in Kaye, Lowenstamm
& Vergnaud (KLV) (1990), to its maximal form, a phrase. At all levels
of phonological representation (including the skeletal level --
projection zero) the government/licensing relation is maximally binary
(KLV 1990), and it is around this binarity of inter-nuclear licensing
that accent assignment in Standard Japanese is constructed. Among the
issues addressed are (i) an explanatory account of accent assignment
in so-called compounds, and (ii) a new approach to the assignment of
pitch within sentences. These issues elucidate how high-pitch
assignment reflects the syntactic structure of the compound or
sentence in question. 
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